15.1j Summary: Use of the Italic Sign

The italic sign is used in braille only when words are printed in a different typeface to indicate emphasis or distinction. The rules governing the use of the italic sign may be summarized as follows.

Use the Italic Sign (Emphasis Indicator)

  1. To indicate emphasis. Use the italic sign when print emphasizes a word or phrase by placing it in a different typeface. [Jump! Now!]
  2. To show distinction when indicated by a special typeface in print for:
    • Foreign words or phrases [Lesson 16]
    • Proper nouns such as names of ships, books, pictures, etc.
    • Subject headings at the beginning of paragraphs [Lesson 19]
    • Silent thought as distinguished from conversation
    • Passages not enclosed in quotation marks that are printed in a type different from that of adjacent text—even when separated from the text by blank lines and/or change of margins [§15.5]

Do Not Use the Italic Sign (Emphasis Indicator)

Italics should not be indicated in braille when they have been used in print strictly for stylistic reasons or when distinction is sufficiently indicated in braille by other means, as in the following:

  1. When letters that mean letters are preceded by the letter sign [Class B Xed]
  2. When freestanding portions of words are printed in a special typeface [pend -ing]
  3. When pronunciations are shown in both parentheses and italics [turkey (tur-kee)]
  4. Where a vertical list of words or terms, which is always brailled with a blank line before and after it, is printed in italics or boldface
  5. Where chapter titles or other centered headings are printed entirely in italics or boldface
  6. Where letters, words, or passages are shown in both quotation marks and italics, except where italics are required for emphasis or distinction